In the Palace Rospigliosi, saw Aurora by Guido, one of the most celebrated frescoes in Rome. Aurora is represented scattering flowers before the chariot of the Sun, drawn by four piebald horses. Seven female figures is the most graceful section surround the chariot and typify the advance of the hours.
We drove all through the Villa Pampili Doria, one of the most extensive in Rome. The grounds are beautifully laid out, has numerous fountains and a large lake with swans swimming about. There are many avenues of various kinds of trees – the most noticeable are the lefty umbrella pines. In 1842 the grounds were occupied by the republican troops of Garibaldi, who maintained his position here for many weeks against the whole of the French army. Some portions of the ______ suffered during these operations, but have since been completely restored. We saw marks all along the city walls of holes and where breaches had been made during the contest.
Saw the columns of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and of Trajan. They are covered with bas reliefs. One has a statue of St. Paul on the summit and the other one of St. Peter.
The obelisks with which the Popes have decorated the city were brought by the Emperors from Egypt. There are 11 in Rome, one in the Piazza del Popolo, Monto Pincio, Vatican, Lateraco, etc., are covered with hieroglyphics. The Arches of Titus, Constantine and Septimus are very beautiful – covered with bas relief.
We visited the baths of Titus, Diocletian and Carocella. The site of those of Diocletian is occupied by two convents with gardens and the public granaries and prisons. The ruins of those of Titus and Carcoalla are all under ground. They are a series of chambers of unknown extent. They give an example of Roman magnificence. The wall and ceiling have been beautifully frescoed and stuccoed, as the remains still show. The frescoes in the baths of Titus are the most perfect specimens of ancient paintings which have been preserved in Rome. They represent flowers, birds and animals, coats of arms. The remains of the mosaic roof and pavements of the baths of Carcoalla were very rich. Those baths were said to accommodate 1600 bathers at a time. They are nearly a mile in circuit and are the most perfect in Rome. The ruins of the Parthenon were very interesting. There is now a ________ in it. The top of the dome is open so that it is exposed to rain, and the Tiber also rises in it several feet at times. Notwithstanding this, it is pretty well preserved. Here we saw the Tomb of Raphael.
The ruins of the Palace of the Caesars were very interesting. The site of its circus is now all cultivated, with gardens, etc. The floor of the dining halls was paved with the most beautiful marbles, some still remaining in their original places. Saw many beautiful specimens of statuary and columns. The Government is excavating it. Saw many large chambers, baths, etc.
June 17th – Went to see the Tarpean Rock. Went to see the Hamestine prison where St. Paul and St. Peter were said to have been imprisoned. Drank water from a well in it which is said to have come in a miraculous manner.
The Academy of St. Luke, in which gallery we saw several good paintings, portraits of Popes, The Tomb of Scopio and Pompey’s pillars, the Arch of Druans and Catacombs of St. Calisto. These wonderful subterranean passages are said to extend as far as Coviltro Procchia. They were once the hiding place of the early christians. They were also used as tombs – some of the popes were buried in them. Then the stable of Caracalla and the circus of Romulus, the triumphal arch of which is very beautiful.
From here we rode a long distance on the Apian Way, on either side of
which we saw the remains of numbers of tombs, among which were those of
Cicillia, Metella, Servia, Seneca, the Horatio and Curatio, the Cotta